Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 29, 2019 · 76 comments

  1. I continue to visit my sister in New York City, and as such my income opportunities are down to almost nothing. I’m not interested in sourcing inventory to sell as it would be a pain in the tuchus to get stuff back to Portland. However, I did sell a few eBay items including a set of free-box mugs, a “One-Piece” T-shirt and an antique wooden bed knob that I found at the bottom of a Goodwill Outlet bin. I set my handling time to three weeks, so I won’t get penalized by eBay for any delay in shipping.

  2. I was invited tomy friend Pam’s house for dinner, and when I asked what I could bring I was hit with the answer to “just bring yourself.” My plan had been to pick up something nibbly, but my day got away from me and then I wasn’t in an area that was conducive to grabbing a nice bottle of wine. However, there was a bodega (corner store) close to her Brooklyn house, so I wandered around a bit and grabbed a $1.25 roll of Scott toilet paper. Why toilet paper? Well, I figured if I was bringing something crappy it might as well be as practical as possible. Luckily, she shares my sense of humor and thought it was funny. Because, hey . . .  who couldn’t use an extra roll of toilet paper?

    We enjoyed a few hours together and even though our friendship harks back to the late 1980s/early 1990s when my husband and I lived in New York, it was like no time had passed.

  3. I’m reading my niece’s copy of Barbara Demick’s Nothing To Lose: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, which is an utterly fascinating book about everyday lives of North Korean citizens. Based on countless interviews with North Korean defectors, the details are gripping and give an inside perspective to the struggles of this proud nation.

    I highly recommend that you put this book on hold at the library!

  4. I’ve been helping my sister to ready her high school earth science classroom. This involves endless errands such as visiting the Department of Education office in downtown Brooklyn, Staples office supply trips to take advantage of back-to-school sales, (composition books for just 50¢!) cleaning and organizing her third floor classroom, (“Sorry, but the elevator isn’t working today”) and picking up bizarrely heavy geological samples from Baruch College and then dropping off others at Lehman College. This may not be the typical New York City trip filled with Broadway shows, afternoons wandering throughThe Guggenheim and sumptuous restaurant meals, but it sure is cheaper!

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet and I won’t be visiting any vulgar gold-plated apartments in the city.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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Disclosure: The eBay links are affiliate links, which means that I earn a small percentage from any purchases you make through eBay within a few days of clicking on my link. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Nalani August 29, 2019 at 12:59 pm


1. Stayed home sick yesterday so no gas used and hardly anything eaten. Still feel a little funky but well enough to go back to work. Don’t worry…nothing contagious so my co-workers will be fine with me coming back to work.
2. Will cut back on some exercise classes to save money in the coming months (separate from my gym membership). I may also cancel my gym membership, although I am not totally sure yet. I enjoy the gym and working out and my gym has a nice “Cheers” vibe to it but at the same time I know that I can work out on my own.
3. Going back and forth about selling my truck. It’s been paid off for years, is in excellent condition, and has a high resale value in my area so part of me wants to sell it now while I can still get top dollar. I have several people who are waiting to see if I decide to sell so finding a buyer will not be an issue.
4. The usual-drinking mostly water, coffee at home, lunch from home, reading library books, etc. Making breakfasts and lunches for my husband so that he doesn’t stop to buy food for the day on his way to work.
5. Decided not to run a marathon this year as I don’t think my hips can take it (I have bilateral hip dysplasia and have torn each of my hip’s labrums and have had two surgeries in the last five years). This is frugal because I can cancel the hotel I booked to be near the start line and it will probably prevent injury and perhaps another labral tear surgery. I will continue to run but have come to the realization that long distances are just not in my future.


Mand01 August 29, 2019 at 1:37 pm

1 Working working working
2 My youngest was begging for a fancy brand of chocolate ice cream. Firstly , I didn’t have time to pick it up (see 1, above ). Secondly, I didn’t want to. I made a homemade chocolate sauce to serve over boring old vanilla in five minutes and they thought it was excellent. Saved $7 and my time and patience .
3 Downloaded the Frugalwoods book on the Libby app. It was an easy read.
4 Our monthly expenses have continued to go down with me working at home.
5 Spring is in the air, and strawberries and blueberries are out for cheap. I found strawberries for $1.50 yesterday.


Ssmz August 29, 2019 at 1:44 pm

Took my lunch every day this week.

Paid cash for all new kitchen cabinets during the 11 percent sale. Waited. Used the 11 percent return to buy the new sink faucet and garbage disposal… wait for it … during another 11 percent sale!
Gave up Diet Coke August first… we were together for 35 YEARS… was over the Michigan can return ! Switched to ice tea. Homemade!

Bought dresses for my first two days back to school for one dollar each!

I have had ZERO dollars in my wallet and keep forgetting to go to the bank so I have zero cash output for about 8 days!


Bee August 29, 2019 at 1:48 pm

The toilet paper hostess gift made me laugh out loud. At least, it is a useful gift.
Once again, I find myself trying to reason with hurricane season. The storm is 5 – 6 days a way and currently it appears that our coastal enclave will not be directly impacted. However, it is always a challenge to prepare frugally.
1. Interruption of a clean, drinkable water supply is not unusual during and after a storm. It is recommended that you have a gallon a day per person for 3 – 5 days. Rather than buying a ton of plastic bottles, I usually buy two flats of quart size Ball jars and fill them with filtered water from my refrigerator. I also fill any other containers I can find.
2. I have planned my meals for the next 4 days so that we use up all perishables. As I clear the food from the freezer, I replace it with reusable plastic containers filled with water. Ice is a precious commodity after a storm.
3. We have a low-cost, animal family plan in place in case a mandatory evacuation is issued. When you live close (really close) to the ocean, The best way to prepare and be comfortable after a Cat 4 storm is to just leave.
4. I have a stack of library books to read during the rainy weekend. We will take out the Scrabble board and a jigsaw puzzle. The hours after a storm are a bit like camping. No electricity, no AC, no water, no tv.
5. I have been doing all the usual things…eating at home, brewing my own coffee, wearing thrifted clothing, reselling on eBay, and enjoying the simple things.


Christine August 29, 2019 at 5:19 pm

Stay safe Bee. Glad to hear you are taking all necessary precautions. Great idea on storing drinking water in the glass jars. I’m thinking it will taste better in glass than in plastic, too. Good luck to you.


Patricia Koernig August 30, 2019 at 1:25 am

I am in South Florida, Bee. Within the cone. :/ Like you I am preparing as much as possible while waiting to see what the damn thing does. Stay safe.


Cindy in South August 30, 2019 at 6:14 am

Stay safe! Best wishes. I remember when Katrina hit Hattiesburg ( approx. 70 miles from the Mississippi coast) and the house roofs were tarp city. I didn’t see a single roof that was not affected. It was unbelievable.


A. Marie August 30, 2019 at 10:10 am

I’m keeping fingers crossed that all of you Floridians among the commenters–and all Floridians who live there, love the state, and aren’t just there to play golf and make a profit–stay safe. (And I hope it occurs to the gold-plated exception to evacuate his workers if it becomes necessary.)


Vickey August 31, 2019 at 5:58 am

Oh A. Marie, I love your combination of kind-hearted and politically pointed! Keep it up!


Nancy from mass August 30, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Stay safe, Bee. Hope the storm misses your area


Bee September 1, 2019 at 4:08 am

Thank you to all for the good wishes. Fortunately, it looks like we will be spared the worse. I am hoping that Hurricane Dorian will stay offshore and not directly impact our northern neighbors. Have a nice holiday weekend!


Jen September 2, 2019 at 5:32 pm

I’m loving hearing about sensible, practical, frugal, and Earth-friendlier hurricane prep. It drives me nuts to hear about the panicking runs on plastic bottles of water.


Mary in Maryland` August 29, 2019 at 2:27 pm

1. We had a delightful and delightfully frugal vacation. Drove three hours with a couple of friends to a cabin we two couples had snagged for $500 at a silent auction. Eight days of swimming in the lake, nature talks, library books, and great food cooked in the cabin.
2. The toaster oven I bought for $8 ten years ago burnt out. I went to the thrift store and bought another Oster for $10. Here’s hoping for another decade of service.
3. My favorite farmer gave me a discount on my three half bushels of tomatoes, if I’d take the boxes where I’d have to deal with some squishy spots. This week I’ve canned 47 jars of tomatoes. My long range data suggests we eat 55 jars a year, unless I buy salsa at Aldi’s. I have 8 quarts left from 2018, so we’ll be fine.
4. As an experiment I bought a few dozen of the reusable canning lids last year. Only about 2/3 sealed last year. After watching several YouTube videos, I’ve gotten up to 85% sealing this year. If I can make them work, they would provide a huge savings over time.
5. I’ve been watching Craigslist for the worktable of my dreams for four months. Yesterday when the Mister, the dogs, and I were on our coffee walk in the early am, I found my dream table in a neighbor’s trash. The neighbor came out and gave us all the necessary hardware to reassemble the table. He had scheduled a bulk pickup, as there were seven of these fabulous tables—IKEA’s Bekant desk/tables. We brought all seven home. Six of them are now listed on Craigslist. Each sells for 200 when new. I’m asking fifty .


Lisa M. August 29, 2019 at 2:46 pm

Nearly Double 5FF: Randomness Edition

1. Spent many hours removing detailed stitching on a premium Bill Blass shirt gifted to DH by a former employer whose company no longer exists. The stitching was incredibly small & contained the department & company names which ensured that DH would not wear it. Hopeful that it will be worn now that the personalization has been removed.

2. Enjoyed annual church mega-sale, this year maneuvering around my work schedule. Took up employer’s offer to work extra hours but still able to attend sale nearly in its entirety. Saved $ eating lunches from home at work versus eating lunches out before the sales with my friend who lives to eat. I live to eat also but I don’t live to spend. Managed a reasonable amount on dinners: a brat meal from the church the 1st night & our annual eat-on-the-patio appetizer extravaganza with my friend the 2nd night. We order 3 apps & divide them between us, less costly than meals. Due to her generosity, I take the leftovers which are the next day’s lunch.

3. Pushed DN (dear neighbor) again to schedule the 2nd neighborhood
Garage Sale of the season. Successful on securing dates this time & promptly notified all relevant parties.

4. Marketing strategy for GS: Going through DD’s small discards to accumulate small bags of similar items to sell. The small bags are very popular with kids as my toy offerings are becoming sparse.

5. Used $5 birthday certificate at hardware store to purchase a nice Garage Sale arrow sign with a metal stake for .42. Will use $6 rebate certificate from big box supply store to replenish 6 metal sign stakes, a process started last year as many in my inventory have become warped with multiple years of usage.

6. Procured free card #3 of summer & found a PERFECT one for teacher/mentor appreciation for instructor who helped DD get into the university of her choice. Eternal gratitude… Will search for a card for niece’s birthday for free card #4.

7. Utilized Aldi’s Double Satisfaction Guarantee for the 2nd time. Top bagel turned moldy the day after purchase, so took receipt to store on the next visit. They cheerfully refunded cost of bagels & replaced the item at no charge. Love Aldi!

8. Increased work hours the past 3 weeks d/t boss’ recreational activities: 24 hours, 25 hours, 18 hours.

9. Alternate plan to cash in on aluminum plans: County recycling center no longer pays cash for cans as their scale broke. Recently took large & specialized recyclables (vacuum cleaner, shredder, Xmas lights) to county center with plan to begin crushing accumulated cans & make longer trip to alternate site to get cash back every 2 years to justify extra distance & gasoline usage.


Ava August 29, 2019 at 3:33 pm

1. Was about to get rid of a top originally from Goodwill because the neck was uncomfortable. Then my friend gave me a pair of capris that went well with it. I did a quick and easy neckline alteration and now I have a new outfit.
2. Received a dr. bill that appeared to not be submitted to insurance. Called the billing department and found that the observant biller had noticed the same thing and already submitted it.
3. Saw a movie with a father’s day gift card and enjoyed a $1.00 soda by using our own refillable cup that was given to us by a friend.
4. Was gifted a bag of really bad looking apples. Made and froze 6 pints of applesauce. My technique is to cut away all the bad parts and cores and cook the remaining, including peelings, with a very small amount of water. Then I use an immersion blender to totally puree everything. The peelings disappear and you get a very smooth, thick sauce with a lot of flavor. Sweeten to taste.
5. After watching all the Midsomer Murders available for free on Amazon Prime, I am getting the rest free from the library.


tracy August 29, 2019 at 4:13 pm

1. Hosted mother-in-law’s birthday party this past weekend. Bought flowers at farmer’s market for table and sent them home for part of her gift. Ate outside in my thriftily furnished back yard and everyone enjoyed themselves. Made black beans from scratch, homemade enchiladas and a yummy green salad; others brought appetizers and dessert. Due to everyone’s schedules lunchtime worked better so served only soft drinks — cheaper than beer or wine.
2. At beach for a few days — Mom’s beach house so no cost — brought a ton of food with so should be a low cost long weekend. Will splurge on a couple of yoga classes but probably not much else.
3. Walked six miles to work one day this week — avoided $14.50 parking fee or bus fee and got free exercise and good for mental health!
4. Picked up a book from neighborhood “free little library” to read here, will drop a couple off there as well.
5. Car pooled to beach with my Mom and will get a ride home with my daughter so fewer cars = less gas = less carbon and less gas $


AuntiAli August 29, 2019 at 4:15 pm

Hmm, do I even have 5 frugal things this week?

1. Finally started reading a library book and am into it.
2. Went to opthamologist for an eye check up and told him how I couldn’t see reading at night. He told me I need eye drops cause I have severe dry eye. I can use over the counter ones.
3. Eye doctor visit was free.
4. Stayed home all week except for eye dr visit – 6 miles rt – so saved money there.
5. Dh cooked over the weekend. Officially tired of eating pizza even if it’s New Jersey pizza which is akin to New York city pizza.


Jill D August 29, 2019 at 4:43 pm

What a good sister you are. I think you qualify as your sister’s Five Frugal Things.


Jill A August 29, 2019 at 4:44 pm

I once joked with my daughter that toilet paper was the perfect gift. Everyone can use it….so for Mother’s Day guess what I roll of Scott’s toilet paper.

1. I’ve sold a few more things on Ebay and scheduled a pick up from home so no gas spent. I reused packing material and some USPS free priority mail boxes. One item sold was the ice bucket to my non-repairable refrigerator. I’m glad someone else can use it instead of ending up in the trash.
2. Yesterday my daughter and I treated her bees for mites so hopefully they stay healthy and we don’t have to purchase more bees. We also made lip balm from the beeswax cappings we got from last honey harvest.
3. My daughter and I sold a few more pints of honey. My daughter is making her first batch of mead with a couple of the pints.
4. I took my daughter to a local Thai restaurant for dinner. They offered 10% off the bill if you paid with cash which I took advantage of.
5. Soma was offering $15 for one bra for their 15th anniversary. I have been looking for a good deal so I snatched one up.


Roberta August 30, 2019 at 6:49 am

I have a couple of wild bee hives, and we are interested in keeping them safe. Should we treat them for mites? I looked around the internet a bit, and quickly became confused and overwhelmed with info on mites and beekeeping… So I would appreciate your insight!


Jill A August 30, 2019 at 11:00 am

Roberta, I’m not sure how you would treat a wild bee hive. We put a special medicine inside our hives which will stay for two weeks. It’s called MAQS or Mite-away quick strips. There are other treatments such as an Oxalic Acid Vapor which you need special equipment for. I don’t know that you can do anything with a wild hive.


Jill A August 30, 2019 at 11:02 am

Also bees have a natural way of dealing with mites which is if they get too bad they can swarm and find a new place to live. They take the queen and leave some of the bees in the original hive. This gives them what’s called a brood break while they make a new queen. This gives them time to remove the mites from the cells and from themselves.


Christine J August 29, 2019 at 5:14 pm

I out Nothing to Envy on hold at the library after reading about it in the last round of FFTs. It is already in transit. Looking forward to reading it.
1. I brought a book shelf from my friend’s apartment to her sister’s apartment a few miles away, mostly by highway. The friend gave me an eggplant and some corn on the cob for my “efforts” and her sister gave me a $15 gift card for a local coffee shop.
2. I made a delicious Eggplant Parmesan with the eggplant which is feeding me for two nights. DH is still out on the Appalachian Trail.
3. I’m invited to a pot luck Labor Day party. Will be making a pot of Boston Baked Beans and slicing up a platter of on sale ($3.99) watermelon to contribute.
4. Helping out a friend at church with a birthday party for another friend. Should be fun and what’s not fun about free cake?
5. Staying home, reading library books and listening to free podcasts for entertainment.


Texasilver September 3, 2019 at 10:11 am

I found a free online library called Open Library. I am reading Nothing to Envy also. I checked it out online free on the Open Library. You create an account & you can check out up to 5 books at a time. The selection is good although you may have to “wait list” a popular book.


Christine August 29, 2019 at 5:32 pm

My list of FFTs was sent for moderation and I haven’t seen it since but I’ll try to reconstruct them here.
1. I ordered Nothing to Envy through the interlibrary loan system and saw today on the website that it is in transit. Looking forward to reading it.
2. A friend gifted me an eggplant and some corn on the cob for bringing a shelf over to her sister’s house a few miles away, mostly by highway. Then the sister gifted me a $15 GC to a local coffee shop for bringing the shelf over.
3. I made an Eggplant Parmesan with the eggplant that provided two supper for me.
4. I’ve been listening to free podcasts for entertainment while I houseclean, do laundry, etc. A good one is Snap Judgement’s “Spooked” on NPR. Just in time for the Halloween season.
5. Reading and doing crossword puzzles in a free local paper for entertainment.


kathleen August 30, 2019 at 5:57 pm

Sorry you had to do your list over, but I’m kinda glad you did. You mentioned Spooked podcast in the 2nd list, and it sounds like a fun listen. Thanks for the recommendation!


Christine August 31, 2019 at 6:01 am

You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy it.


Lindsey August 29, 2019 at 6:09 pm

1. Free oil change plus $30 for doing the report afterwards for a mystery shop company.
2. Dumpster diving is very acceptable in Alaska. A friend asked me to go to the dump with her on the way to a meeting we were both going to so I took the opportunity to hunt around. (I don’t literally go into the dumpster. I did that once when I was young and could not get out. Two guys had to help me out. I have never gotten over the humiliation of one pulling on my arms and the other jumping in beside me and pushing on my butt to boost me up.) I came away from the dump with a mission back recliner that needed only one cross piece replaced and it is now perfectly serviceable and sitting in the sun to air out. I am leaving it out until it hits about 20 below zero, so I know that if there are any bugs they will be dead.
3. Traded 30 pounds of my carrots for three large heads of cauliflower. Gardeners who trade with each other are the best!
4. Took a load of books to the non-profit book place that supports our literacy council. Made sure to get a tax receipt.
5. On the same run of errands, dropped a box off at Goodwill and another box, this one full of old towels, at the animal shelter.


Teresa August 29, 2019 at 8:10 pm

I’m sure it was humiliating for you, but the stuck-in-the-dumpster thing makes for a very good laugh. I could literally see you in the dumpster while I was reading your story. Very cute and funny!

My ex had a habit of dumpster diving. I was annoyed by his habit because some the stuff he brought home was just weird. Once he brought home a cassette tape from the marina dumpster. It had sea-faring songs on it and he played it to our little daughter over a few weeks. It turns out that the songs, while nice “tunes”, had lyrics that rivaled the worst rap music…and our sweet little 3-year-old sang them so happily! Omg. On another occasion, one of my son’s friends who also loved to dumpster dive was chatting with me and I called the dumpster diving hobby “trash digging”. With the most hurt look on his face he looked at me and said very seriously “It’s called TREASURE HUNTING!” I guess what they say is true: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…


Carmen Golledge August 29, 2019 at 6:55 pm

I wanted a blizzard from the DQ but I ate a peach I had at home instead.

Cleaned underneath my bed and found a pair of shoes and a purse I forgot I had.


BethC. August 29, 2019 at 6:58 pm

Have not posted here for a while-here goes:
1. Have been harvesting the heck out of our deck garden (we use Earth boxes). A plethora of peppers have popped, so I have been making stuffed peppers, peppers and onions, etc. Will probably freeze the rest-I can’t keep up!
2. Used points from when I signed up for the 7-11 app a while back to get a free slice of pizza for lunch at work.
3. Have signed up for some online surveys apps (IQ, Google opinion poll, survey monkey) and have earned a few dollars already.
4. Read and traded multiple books via Paperback Swap. I can mail for free at work, so no cost to me. I look forward to receiving books from my PBS wish list in the mail.
5. Rebooked a Panama Canal Cruise that we had booked on our last cruise to save about 50% off of the original fare. With the cancellation of cruises to Cuba (our Cuba cruise was abruptly canceled as a result of that silly@%^& Lear jet, gold-plated apartment man), cruise lines are scrambling to fill cabins for the upcoming winter season.


Teresa August 29, 2019 at 7:54 pm

1. Found a penny and picked it up.

2. Won 4 tickets to “Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Exhibition” — a recreation of the artwork in the Sistine Chapel in what was formerly the Crystal Cathedral in OC, CA. Sometimes I’m lucky like that, winning things. (But never the lotto, darn it!) I’ll take my mom. She’s 93 and there is not much we can do together anymore, but I know that she’ll really like this.

3. Brought lunch to work as usual — will be working at home two days this week, so saved money on gas. Also it is way less stressful working at home.

4. Gathered with extended family last night. Was going to buy something to share but remembered I had fresh crunchy grapes and watermelon in the fridge and homemade hummus in the freezer. Jazzed up the hummus with some cayenne pepper and fresh lemon and served it with crackers I had on hand from my favorite store, Grocery Outlet. When leaving the gathering I was offered a delicious pork roast baked with sauerkraut, onions and apples to take home with me. Many thanks to my ex-sister-in-law’s husband Kyle.

5. While my goal is to save and be frugal, I’ve found myself being a bit loose with money the past few weeks. My priorities are changing. I feel quite lucky to be in my home, to have a job (not super well paying job, but a job nonetheless.) I’m grateful that I am relatively healthy and that I still have all my marbles.

Anyway, at my job we have a number of homeless folks passing through. The homeless pretty much have nothing — not even a place to use the toilet. At the moment I have a bit of extra cash from income tax and I feel compelled to give these people some of the things that everyone needs: food & water, first aid items, and a couple bucks if I have it. I chat with them a bit if there is time. I wish I could do more.

What a crazy world we live in — some people have so much more than they need and others are sleeping in the bushes or on the sidewalk. I’m older now, with less angst, kids are grown and I have fewer responsibilities than when I was younger. I don’t do much else with money these days — no travel, no fancy eating out, and from participating in the non-consumer advocate site/movement I’ve developed a habit of not shopping much. So while giving money away or buying things that someone else needs is definitely spending, I guess I feel OK with it. I can’t just walk by anymore. What is life for if not to share and spread love?


Lindsey August 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm

Thank you for being kind to homeless folks, who are usually invisible.


Patricia Koernig August 30, 2019 at 1:52 am

“What is life for if not to share and spread love.” Words to live by.
Much love to you, Teresa.


Jill A August 30, 2019 at 3:11 am

Thank you for your big heart.


Vickey August 30, 2019 at 6:43 am

Teresa, your kindness brought tears to my eyes. Making others lives better is just about the best reason for spending. Ever. Thank you for bringing the inspiration today.


Dusty August 30, 2019 at 11:15 am

I work as a caregiver for dementia patients…when the deep cleaning of the homes begin…usually before going into a facility….i always ask families to let me take everything…..I’m always amazed at how much stuff people have…..tons of sheets…towels….soaps…lotions….etc…alot of them never opened…there is a women’s halfway house not far from me and i bring the stuff there…..alot of these women were homeless and are grateful for anything….imagine tears over a new bottle of shampoo or a towel that is all yours….most people can’t imagine that….


Nancy from mass August 30, 2019 at 12:29 pm

The team that I’m on for work adopted a girls home not far from our office. The first time we showed up with laundry detergent, shampoo and conditioner and other hair items, feminine care products and make up, some of the girls cried. Most of them never had their own shampoo bottles and they always use the very cheapest laundry detergent not to mention having difficulties finding feminine care products. it’s very humbling when you see a girl cry over getting a box of tampons that she can have all her own.


Mand01 August 30, 2019 at 12:58 pm

Each Christmas when the call comes to donate to the homeless shelters, I buy a big bag of pads and tampons, and our Christmas donation is to the women’s homelessness charity in our town. Women are the fastest growing group of homeless people in Australia. Pads and tampons are so expensive; having to manage a period without them would be terrible.


Ava August 30, 2019 at 4:47 pm

I make up gallon bags and keep them in the car to hand out to homeless people . The bags usually contain a bottle of water, a granola bar, peanut butter or cheese crackers, a nail clipper, floss picks, q tips, chap stick, a couple of band aids, a comb, a small bottle of lotion, a small pack of tissues, a pair of socks and $2.00. When I run low on supplies, I check dollar stores for deals on more and restock the bags. I will add gloves for winter.


Bee September 1, 2019 at 4:32 am

These are wonderful things to do. You all have inspired me. Changing the world one small act of kindness at a time.Thank you.


Mary Saxton September 2, 2019 at 6:06 am

Ava, what a wonderful idea. I donate items to homeless shelters and women’s shelters and I sometimes hand out money to individual homeless folks. But I never thought about having a ziplock bag of items ready to go, that contains a little bit of everything. You have inspired me!


Christine August 31, 2019 at 6:08 am

Teresa and NCA Family…you guys are making me cry. The kindness and huge heartedness of your statements are overwhelming. For my fellow bloggers from the South: You guys = Y’all.


Linda August 29, 2019 at 9:40 pm

Bought 500g reduced beef mince for £3, saving of £1
Cooked up large batch of spaghetti style sauce.
Monday dinner for DH & me: some of the sauce with pasta spirals, leftover pasta stored in fridge.
Tuesday dinner for the 2 of us: more sauce served with cooked brown rice, leftover rice stored in fridge
Wednesday dinner for 2: stir fried finely sliced celery, green Pepper & broccoli stalk, added remaining sauce and left over rice
Thursday dinner for 2: cooked up Mediterranean roasted veggies using veggies on hand. Just before serving added leftover pasta topped with grated cheese.
Yesterday sewed up some apples gifted from friend’s tree plus some windfalls from our tree. Now in freezer in two boxes ready for 2 puddings in the future.
So, lots of tasty home cooked meals at very little cost apart from my time!


rebecca August 30, 2019 at 5:34 am

1. Had a friend come over for dinner last night instead of us meeting at a restaurant for dinner. We had work to do and it was healthier, and a lot more relaxed. Plus, everything was on hand except a lemon and I tried out a new marinade that is a keeper.
2. In the marinade, I used dried herbs instead of fresh because it was what I had.
3. Used a $10 off $50 coupon at wegmans and a few other of their coupons the other day. They have good house brands too.
4. I did a big purge the other day and have some clothes that are in good shape. Have any of you used thredup to sell? What was your experience?
5. The usual-coffee from home, bringing my lunch, library books ect.


Cindy in South August 30, 2019 at 6:25 am

1. My brain is in a fog, but I flew 4000 miles round trip for $201. 2. I did the Park, Sleep, and Fly that Bee recommended and it was cheaper than parking at the airport (thank you Bee). 3. My Air BNB was $35 a night. 4. I bought groceries took them to my kid’s house and just held my grandchild. I also took a sandwich to eat at the airport. 5. I am trying not to look at real estate out there because it is literally 10 times the price of my house (ok, I did look)….I just need to keep working and fly a lot…sigh.


Nancy from mass August 30, 2019 at 12:30 pm

$201!!! That’s an awesome price for such a long flight!


Heidi Louise August 30, 2019 at 12:34 pm

And for such a good reason! Hold that grandchild!


Patricia Koernig August 31, 2019 at 1:26 am

How wonderful to hold your grandchild! So happy for you!


Bee September 1, 2019 at 4:19 am

I am so happy that you had a wonderful trip. I imagine that there are few things in life as fulfilling as holding your grand baby for the first time!


cathy September 1, 2019 at 1:51 pm

So glad you had a good trip. And…you got to enjoy our crazy hot weather too!! September 1 and it might still hit 100 today.
Hope you found an easy way to get to/from the airport.


Cindy in the South September 2, 2019 at 6:33 pm

Thank y’all so much!


Roberta August 30, 2019 at 7:07 am

1. My husband had back-to-school night on the night my daughter had class, so we went out to Souplantation for dinner (near both of their schools). I checked my email before we left, and found a 30% off coupon. Still pricy, but we got to have dinner together. It was still too hot to picnic.
2. Didn’t get much usable food from the food bank this week, which makes me happy. I feed their leftovers to the chickens, so I hate it when good food doesn’t get to people. I did get a lot of chard; I blanched and froze the chard that didn’t go into our pasta last night, and it will go into soups this winter.
3. Ran 2/3 of my errands yesterday. I will finish today, grocery shopping and Christmas looking. Did not succumb to impulse purchases, but instead will be eating down the freezer and pantry this week.
4. I looked over the items I’ve collected for the kids for Christmas, and I am beginning to look for things for Christmas. They are both in high school, and I am looking at getting them a good travel case/Dopp kit stocked with luxury items. My daughter especially wants to travel, so this will be useful and exciting for her (she can’t wait to fly!)
5. Celebrating my son’s and sister-in-law’s birthdays at her house. I am bringing a carrot cake, chili and shrub. I only had to buy cream cheese and crushed pineapple; everything else was on hand.


Michelle H August 30, 2019 at 11:56 am

1. Paid $1.50 for an NHL jersey at Goodwill this week, and sold for $20 on FB Marketplace within 2 hours. Inspired me to re-list a few items on ebay that hadn’t sold locally this spring, and I mailed one out yesterday.

2. Got a $183 check yesterday from a friend who I helped sell his motorcycle. My husband joking to a buddy last year (that I was selling so much stuff online he was starting to worry I’d sell the kids) started up a side hustle listing stuff for friends/neighbors who aren’t internet savvy enough to want to deal with it.

3. It’s my birthday weekend, making a plan to take advantage of the various freebies flooding my email.

4. I love practical gifts, so birthday gifts from the husband are 2 projects I wanted done. 1. Replacing the A/C motor in my car that is starting to squeal (but thank goodness it still worked, it’s 100 degrees here!) 2. Repairing and painting a huge old mailbox that was buried in a shed, and installing it to replace the small mailbox we had. Mailman will be thrilled, no more getting out of the truck to put packages on the porch.

5. Continuing to batch errands and bring a refillable water bottle everywhere.


Christine August 31, 2019 at 6:12 am

Your #4…yes, big mail boxes are the best for exactly your stated reason! I am a retired mail carrier.


Mary in VA September 3, 2019 at 3:18 am

Michelle, your #2 is what I need. I’d love to be a “supplier” for someone who sells items on eBay, FB Marketplace, etc. Although I dearly love tracking down treasures, I have no interest in the photographing/listing/waiting for item to sell part. As long as I made a little profit, I’d be happy to let someone else handle the rest and take the lion’s share.


Katy September 3, 2019 at 8:50 am

Sourcing is always the fun part!


A. Marie August 30, 2019 at 12:11 pm

FFT, Happy Birthday to Me Edition:

(1) My birthday was yesterday (Thursday). Unfortunately, I share it with Michael Jackson and Hurricane Katrina. Fortunately, I also share it with Ingrid Bergman, one of the all-time great actresses. (It was also IB’s death date, in 1982–and the story goes that, suffering greatly from terminal breast cancer, she nevertheless managed to knock back a glass of birthday champagne and smile before she went. I’m counting this as a Frugal Thing because she remains an inspiration to me in many ways, and inspiration is frugal.)

(2) After a morning appointment with DH’s GP involving fasting bloodwork (I skipped breakfast in solidarity) and a trip across town, we went to an excellent fish fry place on the West Side for the Thursday fish sandwich lunch special, and then to the adjacent Thrifty Shopper store so that I could spend my 25% off birthday coupon. Brand-new pair of Drew shoes (yes, orthopedic and dorky, but necessary), three beautiful knit tops, and a book, for $18.

(3) I was astonished to see two shopping carts full of ripe and half-ripe beefsteak tomatoes, all with minor cosmetic blemishes but still usable, at the Thrifty Shopper entrance. The cashier told us that a local farmer brings in his late summer produce that doesn’t have eye appeal (“We had cucumbers and peppers last week”). Because climate change and the Bamboids have done a number on my full-size tomato crop this year (I do have plenty of cherry tomatoes because those are planted right next to where I park the Prius), I took three half-ripes for BLTs later this weekend. But I restrained myself from taking more, to leave more for folks in genuine need.

(4) And the neighbors have chimed in as usual with birthday remembrances. Our darling next-door neighbor brought over a batch of her killer brownies as usual. (I yearn to place a personal ad for her in the Lutheran Herald: “Swedish widow, 80. Upstate NY. Makes the best cookies and brownies in the neighborhood. Yankees and NY Giants fan.” But I hesitate to meddle that far in my friends’ lives.)

(5) Plus which, Dr. and Ms. Bestest Neighbor took us to dinner at a good local Indian restaurant–and we have enough leftovers to launch us well into the weekend. Bless you, BNs.


Patricia Koernig August 31, 2019 at 1:30 am

Love your sense of humor, A. Marie. Happy Birthday!


Christine August 31, 2019 at 6:15 am

Happy Birthday A.Marie! Sounds like you’re enjoying your birthday week. Yay for birthdays!


Bee September 1, 2019 at 4:23 am

Happy Birthday! Wishing you a year of fabulous!


Cindy in the South September 2, 2019 at 6:42 pm

Happy birthday!!!!


Lisa M. August 30, 2019 at 12:43 pm

Happy Belated Birthday, A. Marie. I have an early August birthday & am still strategically using birthday offers & freebies. I am planning a dinner out in the next couple days (offer good through the end of August) & then one again that lasts through September to maximize those birthday deals. Three cheers for birthday frugalities!


Economically Proud August 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm

1. I have not left our home for 6 days.
2. When I went out on Sunday, I bought $18 worth of perishables from Aldi, and picked up free bananas and granola bars at another grocery store. The manager even gave me $0.52 cents back
3. No AC for the past week and a half
4. Did laundry twice this past week and hung all up to dry in the fresh, cooler air
5. No spending at all since the grocery trip, except DH put $25 of gas in his little car he takes to work. That will last him for 3-4 weeks.


Susan from Cincinnati August 31, 2019 at 2:14 am

1. By reading my explanation of benefits book for my insurance I discovered I get reimbursed $200 once a year for new glasses. Sent in my receipt for my new glasses.
2. Talked to insurance company about the fact that I need a yearly visit to the gynecologist bc I have had breast cancer twice (insurance only covers every other year). Insurance person said bc I was high risk the visit would be covered if it were coded that way. Told my doctor during appointment and she put high risk into coding for the bill.
3. Made chicken broth with saved chicken bones and carcasses. Saved any meat that came off. Several days later made chicken soup for lunch by poaching 3 chk breasts in my crockpot first and then taking them out and dumping in broth and veggies. Used 1 1/2 breasts for lunch and 1 1/2 breasts for dinner. This fed 4 of us 2 meals with leftovers.
4. Shopped at Aldi and $25 under food budget so I didn’t feel too badly when we bought Chinese take away for dinner.
5. Both electric bill and water bill came in lower than last month.


leanne coward August 31, 2019 at 4:11 am

1 Doing heaps of surveys to fund my Christmas shopping.

2 Made a huge batch of muffins and froze a large quantity.

3 Planted some seeds as the weather is getting warmer.

4 Cleaned the pantry out and used up lots of things cooking from scratch.

5 Received some make up samples in the mail.


Momma L August 31, 2019 at 2:10 pm

I really really wanted to get away for our anniversary, we’ve had so much company and work and life stressors. After looking up a nice ocean front hotel with a spa and restaurant, I reconsidered. So:
1. Made a really easy nice dinner (potato salad, a 5 lb bag was 77cents today at Harris Teeter!), I gave DH the job of grilling the meat, and we ate home made pickles with it.
2. Played our favorite Pandora station.
3. Sat outside and watched the birds in the bird feeder and bath on a beautiful late afternoon.
4. Used a Redbox code to get a movie
5. Popped popcorn in our microwave silicone popper, drank wine from the grocery store.
Had a great at home date, decided we were lucky to be here and together.
We decided the only thing missing was the lovely spa. Might indulge in a massage, if I can find a Groupon deal…


Momma L August 31, 2019 at 2:12 pm

OH! I forgot to add… we had a group date with friends, we splurged $ on a matinee, y’all have GOT to go see Peanut Butter Falcon!
This was extra special because the writers came out to talk to the audience afterwards. Do you know they insisted that the Down’s Syndrome character had to be played by an actor with DS? The story behind the film is as good as the film.
It will touch your heart, I guarantee it. Worth the splurge to see something this positive.


Deborah J Kresse August 31, 2019 at 10:00 pm

We are at our beach house in Outer Banks right now and are looking forward to seeing The Peanut Butter Falcon in the next week at the Pioneer Theatre in Manteo, NC. My husband went to Manteo High School, which is the same school the writer went to, although my husband graduated several years earlier. The Pioneer Theatre is just over 100 years old, and all movies are $7.00, popcorn and sodas are $2 each, so it won’t be a huge splurge.


Momma L September 1, 2019 at 5:02 am

Enjoy the movie! 🙂


Debbie from Delaware September 2, 2019 at 8:30 pm

We saw the movie tonight. It was excellent!!!!!


Betta from daVille September 1, 2019 at 10:04 am

1. Had a friend-date and decided to go to a museum and dinner. Used our library’s “cultural pass” and paid $6 a ticket rather than the regular $20. Friend is a manager at a restaurant and so she paid for dinner using her quarterly restaurant stipend.

2. Did not eat out once in the last 2 weeks with the exception of a donut! This is big as DH and I really like to go out to eat. Friend came into town and we decided to cook and eat all of our meals in (except for the donuts) saving us both $.

3. Have been eating from our postage-stamp-of-a-garden. Bumper crop of green beans, and I used Swiss chard and carrot top greens in a spanikopita.

4. Found a dozen iffy limes on the discount produce shelf. Brought them home, squeezed them and we now have a bag of frozen lime cubes for when I need some lime juice in a recipe.

5. Planting some sprouted potatoes to see if they grow. Apparently, you can plant them and harvest at the holidays?

(Also, happy birthday, all!)


Alison September 1, 2019 at 6:18 pm

1. After two years of retirement, I started a part time, 5 hour a week job with the same employer. Already I have worked two additional days to help out with the start of the school year.
2. Packed my lunch for all three days of work.
3. Made brunch for six at home when friends visited, instead of going out, which we often like to do. Eating at home is more relaxing, I find, as well as frugal.
4. Used a $5 store coupon to purchase said brunch’s supplies. Using coupons isn’t really a thing here. Also used $30 of air miles cash to buy the supplies.
5. DH went to my favourite charity shop and purchased 40 forks for $4 for the staff room at my school. I must have purchased at least 200 forks over the 9 years I worked there. It’s a mystery where they all went. I’ll just donate them.


ouvickie September 2, 2019 at 6:04 am

I took Friday off, so I could have a long weekend with my family and get some things done. It’s been wonderful so far.
1) I was able to get all my errands done on Friday and visited with a friend, while she cut my hair. My dog was being groomed at the same time – we both feel better! This is something we only do about once every two months, so we’re definitely in need and neither groomer is expensive.
2) My daughter and I took my granddaughters to the OKC Science Museum on Saturday and spent the afternoon having fun. She has a season pass and had a guest pass they used for me, so no money spent out of pocket. It was fun.
3) Sunday was spent with my Mom’s paternal family at a reunion about an hour & 1/2 from home. I made a pasta salad, which apparently went over well, there wasn’t anything left of it when everything was over. They have an auction, after dinner, which raises money to pay for the Community Center rental and the meat that’s furnished for the dinner. I had a season Sooner Football poster, which I’d picked up with several others – free of charge from the University where I work. I usually end up giving away 6-8 each year. I donated one for auction and they sold it for $8. So thankful, since I’d forgotten to craft or find something for the auction earlier in the week. Plus, I spent all day visiting with cousins I only see once a year. LOVE my family!
4) My daughter and I are taking the girls to the local amusement park today. They have season passes and I have a free one time pass I rec’d last month, when I donated blood. The weather is beautiful, so it should be a great day.
5) I need to make a large salad this evening, to go with dinner. That way I can pack a salad for lunch tomorrow. It’s going to be a short 4 day week – YAY!!


Ruby September 2, 2019 at 11:06 am

1. Our local Goodwill is usually quite picked over, but yesterday I scored two lovely tops to wear to work for $7 and some change total.
2. I suspect our local Food Lion may be closing soon, as it has begun to have closeouts and discontinued signs on its own brands. However, I won’t turn down peanut butter for $1.19 no matter what it portends.
3. Mended a blouse last night, using my stash of second hand thread spools and a decorative button from the button stash.
4. The Mister and I wandered around the Habitat ReStore last weekend and bought nothing, although we had a fun hour poking through boxes of doorknobs and stacks of reclaimed shutters.
5. Cleaned out a bunch of power cords and chargers from old phones to donate to the Salvation Army. These are very useful to people with older devices. Glad to see the clutter gone.


Connie C September 3, 2019 at 6:26 am

1) The a/c at home and at our cottage has been off for about two weeks now. So thankful for cooler, less humid weather.

2) Hosted about 30 friends and family at a picnic over the long Labor Day weekend. So much fun! We provided protein and everyone invited pitched in with sides.

3) Took our annual trek to the state fair last week with another couple. They got in free for being senior citizens and Hubs and I got in free for volunteering with our local fire department.

4) Tis the season to pay college tuition for two of our sons. One bought books for over $800 but the good news is that these will last him for the entire next two years while he finishes his Paramedic program. Regardless, we are covering expenses for both through our 529 educational savings accounts. I think we will just about squeeze the accounts out to zero for all three of our boys, and they should all graduate with NO STUDENT LOAN DEBT!

5) The usual – shopping sales with a list and coupons; submitting receipts to Ibotta, Fetch and a local rewards program; and reading great books from the library via inter-library loan.


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